UnPlug for Charity 2014
It's just a few hours from Thanksgiving Eve. That may not be a very significant day for most people - it usually isn't for me - but this year it means that I'll start a 35-day fast of social media.
Social media has definitely become a part of who I am and my persona - which has its pros and cons.
People have been asking me: "Don't you use it a lot for work?" "How will you invite people to your birthday party in December?" "So, you won't share photos of any trips or anything you do/eat?" "How will you survive?"
The answer to all of these is: I don't know.
I haven't gone on a social media detox in years - at least seven years, and that was before I became so involved in Facebook, before Twitter and definitely before Tumblr, Google +, Pinterest and Instagram. And, honestly, it's giving me a headache just thinking about the inconvenience.
I will miss the calendar and event notifications. And I will miss the easy communication available with thousands of Facebook friends.
I will *not* miss the seemingly ever increasing spam on all social media platforms. Also, I won't miss constantly being on social media.
Like many, I think, I've become kind of addicted to social media. I enjoy scrolling through my newsfeeds in the morning to see what my friends have been up to and what they've shared. I've formed friendships - real friendships - purely from our online interactions. I report local news and other interesting items that come up. But I also find myself becoming way too attached to it - maybe even to the point where it's unhealthy.
So, I've flipped all my iPhone social media notifications off and I'll be ignoring those apps for the next 35 days - from Thanksgiving Eve through New Years Eve. I'll have to find another way to wake up in the morning and be informed without scrolling through a newsfeed. And I'll have to revert back to email, blogs, texting or calling people to communicate. Maybe I'll even set up some coffee and lunch dates - in person - as opposed to having lunch at my desk while my index finger rolls my mouse through everyone's digital lives.
I'm expecting a couple cheat days - whether through raising $100 on the donation site or through my donating $25 per day to charity. I'm also scheduling at least a couple posts in advance through Hootsuite.
One challenge I foresee is the fact that Google has made it almost impossible to use Gmail without its social media Google+ counterpart. So we'll see how that goes.
I have some goals, too. Considering I estimate I use various forms of social media upwards of five hours each day, I'm thinking I can use that time more wisely:
- to work out at least 20-30 minutes five days a week
- to call/text people directly more, instead of sending out a mass status update
- to work on several work projects that have been brewing in my head
- to finish the rough draft on a novel I've started
- to blog more (I've missed it)
- to start working on spring fundraising efforts for the Grown Up Egg Hunt
- to definitely read more.
Yes, this is an uncharted experience for me. But those are my favorite experiences.
You can check in on me here, on my blog. There are a lot of blog posts I need to catch up on from summer/fall trips.
You'll also find me at:
email@example.com / firstname.lastname@example.org
And come by to say hi - and make sure I'm still alive as I go through social media withdrawal - at work: 501 Broadway in Troy.
If you really miss me, donate (I'll come back a day for every $100): gofundme.com/PlugBackInCharity
If you want to cheer me on, donate to: gofundme.com/UnPlugForCharity
All proceeds will be evenly divided between Camp Little Notch and the Pawling Statue Project.
So, Happy Thanksgiving, folks! And - if I don't see you - Happy Hannukah, Kwanza, Festivus and Christmas! I'll see you in the New Year.